June 15, 2005
U of W Medical doesn't learn from crime and penalty
The University of Washington Medical School harbored felons on their faculty for several years and paid for it. And there is more evidence this week that they learned little from the experience.
Dean Paul Ramsey ignored two audits in 1996 and 97 (he was department head then) that indicated there was massive fraud in billing - in 13 departments under him. Two years later it was only reported because a whistleblower blew the whistle!
Ramsey ignored the problems in his area of control:
In 1998, Ramsey received a letter from a UW doctor pointedly warning him that physicians were falsifying Medicare bills. Ramsey ordered an investigation that found no wrongdoing, although a written report wasn't produced until after the criminal investigation began in late 1999.
And Ramsey's coverup continues. Yesterday's Seattle Times story
is based on reviewing the original audits. How is Ramsey now involved? Actually, I don't know if the current coverup is by him or higher up, but they are still working at it:
The audits, kept secret since 1997, were obtained by The Seattle Times last week under a public-disclosure request. The university initially denied the request, citing attorney-client privilege because a law firm was involved in arranging the audits.
(Mac Safart users click on the time stamp to continue.)
Fortunately new UW President Mark Emmert reversed the decision.
This story doesn't remind us of the fact that "... Dr. H. Richard Winn, a neurosurgeon, pleaded guilty to obstructing a federal investigation and resigned with a $3.7 million separation agreement." I wish reporter Sharon Plan Chan or her editor would link to her own previous stories.
The UW paid the federal government a $35 million penalty last spring. June 20, 2004
Why is Dean Paul Ramsey still on the job? He oversaw the crimes; his investigation didn't find anything; he ignored warnings; he covered up; he gave the felon $3.7 million and caused a penalty of $35 million.
Accountability isn't expected, we can plainly see. And the money? It doesn't seem to matter... after all, it's our money that's paid. Money is of small consequence to the UW Medical School dean. He goes to the Legislature and gets our tax dollars.
Oh, is Ramsey affected by this? Private donations to the UW were down 35 per cent last year. Would you give the U of W Medical School your hard-earned money?
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Posted by Ron Hebron at June 15, 2005
10:02 PM | Email This
"... Dr. H. Richard Winn, a neurosurgeon, pleaded guilty..."
So, what is the going rate for a nymectomy (getting your first name shortened to an initial)? I've heard it's around $50K, which explains why doctors and lawyers seem to be the only ones who shell out the dough to get it done.
But for the bigger issue, why do we have such a disconnect here in WA when it comes to accountability anywhere in government? Is it based in low expectations? I think it must be. Anyone disagree? When is the last time we saw someone fry for malfeasance in govenment?
Fry? Here you get moved to a nothing job and get paid 122k if you fall on the sword like Heunekkens did.
And the lady who deliberately falsified reports and told her superiors? Keeps her job, it seems.
3. Arrongance...pure and simple.
The University community is filled with costly arrogance. Look at the salaries of the professors. WE pay for the R&D....where does the money go???
If our University was successful in R&D and fiscally well-managed....TUITION FOR OUR KIDS WOULD BE NEARLY FREE!!! Instead, just like the Worldcom's and Enron's of world, the lack of accountability...the rip-off's march on!
Think how quickly my legislature and “Governor” passed this 9.5-cent gas tax increase and declared emergencies to get around voter approved initiatives.
Locke and his left over cabinet set the stage by telling us we needed higher taxes before leaving office. The “Gov.” hires his staff and gives them all raises.
THE DEMOCRATS ARE TELLING US THERE IS NO WASTE IN GOVERNMENT!
This State and it’s taxpayers are being robbed blind by the bureaucrats of this State. Why do the dems refuse to Audit State Government? Because they are the thieves and what has been going on benefits them. I see comments by trolls like JDH in support of higher taxation. I can only conclude he is a member of the gang of thieves who benefit from this abuse of Government.
If this State were a public company, the stockholders and analysts would insist on audits and cost cutting. WILL THE PEOPLE IN SUBURBAN PUGET SOUND PLEASE STOP VOTING FOR DEMOCRAT LEGISLATORS WHO PROMISE TO RAISE TAXES AS A LAST RESORT? THEY ARE LYING TO US!!!!
The fish is rotten from the head down. Just at what level of state government do we see any accountability? The Queen keeps on all the old heads with pay raises at the state level after talking changing state gov. (that was only after Rossi gained serious ground talking change). Every since Forward Thrust the region has fixated on mass transit 35 years and just what do we have to show for it? King Co. should be declared a Federal disaster area due to mismanagement.
Why should we expect any different at my alma mater? Mismanagement, no accoutability, no responsibility, coverups, lies, corruption are the normal operating proceedure in Washington State. Until we have a serious sea change of public opinion. And sweep the totality of elected officials into the dust bin, followed by a clear message to anyone elected: You are one term unless serious change takes place.
Til' then 'aint nuttin gonna change. Get used to it! Or get active for change.
6. The soon to be felons should ask for Sims as a boss; Logan head of the dept, then use the mantra, "mistakes were made", we are correcting it" and then ignore any further complaintts
7. My local city is doing the "emergency" or similar clause in a new tax scheme they are proposing to torture some small business owners with. I have been and will be involved in this scheme.
Errrrr, on the side of good, that is.
If I get time, I will start my own blog and deal with these local issues. King County is out of my territory.
9. "... Dr. H. Richard Winn, a neurosurgeon, pleaded guilty..."
So, what is the going rate for a nymectomy (getting your first name shortened to an initial)? I've heard it's around $50K, which explains why doctors and lawyers seem to be the only ones who shell out the dough to get it done. -Posted by TB at June 15, 2005 11:22 PM
Some folks, like my son, share a "family tradition" first name and go through life ONLY EVER CALLED OR KNOWN by their MIDDLE name.
You are making some pretty onerous assumptions here.
10. Actually Brad the RATS are extending a middle finger in our general direction.
RON SIMMS is taking listner calls this morning at 10:00AM in KUOW.
Great to see him hitting the mainstream media in search of a wide audience to share his views.
12. Cheryl, TB might have been joking. That's how I took it.
Now it seems that our fine Gov. would like to have students from the wealthiest families subsidize the high cost of doing business for the UW. Even if that cost includes things like $35M pentalties. This is from the Seattle Times
The University of Washington has quietly met with state lawmakers and Gov. Christine Gregoire to talk about becoming more like a private university — and charging much higher tuition.
In-state tuition rates for illegal aliens. Ignoring audits. Routine rate hikes normally 2-3 times inflation. Politically-correct corset over all operations and policies.
What a model institution and what model behavior to teach our young adults about life! Couple that with some anti-American spewing 'professors' and you have a recipe for the perfect misguided young-citizen disaster and "America-guilt." All this in the midst of opportunities that are seen nowhere else in the world. For shame.
15. Why doesn't the UW, unlike other universities, have a moral turpitude clause in its tenured professor contracts? Instead UW trustees claim they had to pay off Winn, an admitted felon, to avoid the cost of litigating his termination. The second physician who admitted to being a felon at the UWMC, had his $100,000 fine paid by the UWMC and is still on the payroll. Anybody there ever heard of "termination for cause"?
I am surprised no one has mentioned the new stealth tax proposal from the UW. Today's Seattle Times reports that the UW is proposing raising tuition to perhaps $19,750 per year, granting a $5,000 tuition credit to all in-state students, and then granting additional credits based on such things as your family's income level. In effect, the state will begin levying fees for service based upon your income - which is effectively a state income tax. If you make too much money, attending the UW will cost as much as attending a private university (without the benefit of small classes).
Why not extend this concept to all state services? License fees (car, auto, professional) will be based strictly on your income. The state's new entrance and parking fees at state parks should be based on on your income level. What a great way to introduce an income tax without calling it an income tax!
So far, this is just a proposal from the UW. But rather than clean up their inefficiency, let's just soak taxpayers, uh, I mean, students whose family's make too much money.
17. In defense of Dr Ramsey, who always seemed to be a decent chief resident, and Dr. Winn, who I only knew from lecture, the criminalization of medical billing practices is a big problem for doctors. The rules for billing are constantly changing and the Feds can add on charges for wire or mail fraud, ect and go back for years and with penalties can add up immense sums rapidly. Here is the storey of a couple of Alaska Docs who resisted the system, and paid the price: http://www.aapsonline.org/judicial/vanhfact.pdf/. Medical school admissions are down to about 1.5 applications for every opening from 3-4 about 15 years ago. I guess no one wants to have the billing rules constantly change and be criminally liable for any confusion. When all of us Docs work for the Federales on salary, this won't matter. None of us will make any money. The severance pay seems like an awful lot, but before I condemn this I might want to know how much of it was for work already done on the obtaining and conducting of research, usually supported by grant money. It might very well be that Dr. Winn could have gone to another medical school with his grants rather than assign them to another UW researcher. It may be that there is a large scale coverup and fraud with greedy, self-serving Doctors paying each other off with government funds. I doubt it. I think the government is out to keep from paying Doctors for their work. Intimidation is a very effective way to keep them from 'aggressive' billing and siezure of all of a doctors assets, destruction of his or her reputation and the threat of prison is an effective method of intimidation. Kindly, allow for some possibility that both Dr. Ramsey and Dr. Winn could be innocent of criminal or unethical acts. I hope the public would do the same for all of us, if we were attacked in the notoriously inaccurate MSM.
"It might very well be that Dr. Winn could have gone to another medical school with his grants rather than assign them to another UW researcher"
I believe that Winn went to Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York and took his grants with him. Considering that the UW stepped in on the eve of the US Attorney's office press conference, presumably to announce Winn's indictment, to broker a deal between the feds and Winn's attorney...methinks that there's more to the story and that the UW gladly paid Winn a hefty settlement to get him to plead guilty and avoid public airing of some very dirty laundry. Mt. Sinai is pleased as they only have to pay Winn a tiny salary as the UW pays the difference (up to $800,000 per year) as part of his severance agreement. Go back and check some of the articles at the time, but I believe Winn took a big military research grant to New York. Despite the $35 million dollar fine and $28 million in legal fees, I believe that the UW came out ahead financially.... especially if the news reports placing the fraud at over $100 million are accurate. But the UW is halfway through their goal of raising $2 billion dollars and paying some cash to avoid further scrutiny or damning evidence is probably worth it to them. Is it true that the UWP physicians' group is a private company and not subject to review by the State Auditor???? Outrageous.